Lomography.com – Petzval 85 Art

Lomography.com – Petzval 85 Art

Matthew Osborne Photography/ @MrLeicaCom

September 2016


Petzval 85 Art Lens – Nikon F Mount

The lovely people at Lomography.com kindly got in touch and lent me their Nikon mount brass Petzval 85 Art lens to try.  Below is a link describing how I got on and here are some example images with Sophie and Charlotte (also included in link).  All photos taken with my old Nikon D800.

..I have to say, the Petzval 85 Art makes Nikon D800 photos interesting so it’s good! (I say that as I struggled to get excited with my Nikon D800 photos on the whole hence my move to film and Leicas).

Petzval 85 Art

Nikon D800 + Petzval 85
Petzval 85 Art
Nikon D800 + Petzval 85 Art Lens Brass
Petzval Bokeh
Nikon D800 + Petzval 85
Nikon D800 + Petzval 85 Art

Petzval 85
Petzval 85 Art Lens
Nikon D800 + Petzval 85
New Petzval 85 Art Lens Brass

Lomography.com Magazine – MrLeica.com

Link – https://www.lomography.com/magazine/323494-matt-osbourne-portraits-with-the-petzval-85

Petzval 85 vs. Other Nikon Mount Fast Lenses

When using the Petzval 85 lens it reminded me of the overly soft photos captured from my Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Ai-s lens when shooting at f1.2. Here are a few examples as a comparison. I think the Petzval 85 is sharper wide open at f2.2 and has ‘better’ bokeh (meaning more character).

Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Ai-s

Nikon D800 Headshot
Alice with Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS
Katie SOOC with 50/1.2 AIS @f1.2

I then thought perhaps the Samyang 85mm f1.4 would be more comparable so here are a few samples. The Samyang 85 is pretty sharp wide open at f1.4 and a great lens but I think again the Petzval 85 lens bokeh has more character.

Samyang 85mm f1.4

2012 REPOST: Nikon D800 + Samyang 85mm f1.4 Fashion
Nikon FM

Petzval 85 vs. Leica M Fast Lenses

Finally, as a Leica photographer it seems only right to include a few example photos with fast Leica lenses that are also soft(ish) focus shot wide open.  The obvious lenses that spring to mind that I own are the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 and Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2

Leica M9 Skin Tones
Leica M9 + Noctilux
Leica M9 + Noctilux
Leica M Typ 240 + Noctilux
Leica Noctilux Bokeh

Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5
Street Portrait
Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5
Retro Leica


Poland Model Photography – June 2015

Poland Model Photography – June 2015

Matthew Osborne Photography (“Mr Leica”)

Mr Leica Agency Shoot Poland

The Trip

I am just back from another 4 days shooting in Sopot, Poland.  I stayed in my favourite hotel on Sopot beach, Hotel Bursztyn, and teamed up with Malva Model agency girls again and also with models from 2 other model agencies.  Some new faces and a few you may recognise.  Some of the regulars were away shooting in Asia / elsewhere in Europe so I hope to catch them next time if they are home.


As usual, the hardest part of the trip is packing beforehand trying to decide what cameras / lenses to take.  Right until the last minute the plan was to take my usual Leica M9, a Leica M3 and then take the Nikon F4 SLR to try.  I was then stuck with what Nikon mount lens(es) to take for the Nikon F4 as I needed a 50mm (do everything lens) but also wanted to take my new Tokina 100mm f2.8 lens.  I then started to consider taking the Nikon D800 instead of the Leica M9 as kind of a test to myself.  Can I like the photos from the Nikon D800 CMOS sensor again?  It has been over 18 months since I moved to from shooting with the Nikon D800 to the Leica M9 so perhaps it was time to give it another try.  The D800 made sense on multiple levels.  36mp high resolution images for the models and agencies to emjoy.  D800 longer battery life vs the Leica M9 for full days of shooting. D800 autofocus lens option if I want it for moving subjects and the biggest advantage, I could take one set of lenses for 2 camera bodies. After weighing my bag with various combinations the final camera bag consisted of:

Camera gear for June 2015 trip (2 cameras, 4 lenses)

  • Nikon D800 DSLR (digital camera)
  • Nikon F4 SLR (35mm film camera)
  • Nikkor 50mm f1.8 E series MF lens (pancake lens)
  • Nikkor 24mm f2.8 D AF lens (for some interior photos)(less so for models)
  • Rollei Planar 50mm f1.8 M42 MF lens (+ tiny M42 – Nikon adapter)
  • Tokina 100mm f2.8 AF Macro lens (for portraits and macros)
  • 5 in 1 reflector
  • 35mm film (Kodak T-Max 100, T-Max 400, Fuji Acros 100, Kentmere 100, Portra 400)

Nikon F4 + New Batteries :)

To recap this is what I took on my last trip to Poland (similar space and weight):

January 2015 Poland Trip camera gear (4 cameras, 4 lenses)

  • Leica M9 (digital camera)
  • Leica M3 film camera (with 50mm framelines)
  • Leica M2 film camera (with 35mm framelines)
  • Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens (for M3)
  • Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens (for M2)
  • Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 lens (for M9)
  • Mamiya 645 Super + Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens (medium format film camera)


Was I pleased with my camera and lens choice?

I think yes.  I still find it easier to focus a rangefinder cameras vs a SLR/DSLR but after reviewing some of the resulting photos I am extremely pleased with the detailed captured in the Nikon D800 NEF RAW files.  A broad dynamic range and lots of detail / sharpness.  Perfect for fashion photography and to my eyes more similar to the smooth Leica S2 camera images than the Leica M9 photos.  The Leica M9 images to me are more like classic 35mm film grain such as Kodak Tri-X whereas the Leica S2 and Nikon D800 is more like medium format 120 Fuji Acros 100 film (slightly extreme examples but to help visualise) for example with a broad range of grey tones.  Neither style is bad and both have their uses.  In the past I loved the narrow dynamic range of the contrasty Leica M9 black and white JPEG files yet at the moment I am really enjoying the broad dynamic range of film and the Nikon D800 RAW files.

I was pleased with both the Nikon D800 and handling of the Nikon F4 (film not yet developed).  Could I take the same images with a Leica M3 vs the Nikon F4 with the same film loaded and a 50mm lens?  Yes I think so.  The Leica M3 is smaller and lighter and I can operate it in my sleep.  The Nikon F4 was good if I wanted to use the autofocus Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro lens or the wider 24mm Nikkor but for the majority of the photoshoots I could have probably got away with just a 50mm lens.  Next time I might take a Nikkor 50mm AF lens for speed or perhaps the Nikkor 60mm f2.8D Micro lens instead of the 100mm Tokina Macro.  Both lenses are very sharp.

Could I take the same images (camera operating speaking) with the Leica M9 vs the Nikon D800?  Again I think yes but just with smaller files produced from the M9 and from 0.7m-1m away for Leica-M lenses vs up much closer with with Nikon D800.

Time to Think..

During the trip I had time to think more about Leica-M lenses vs lenses for Nikon cameras and also the limited useable max ISO of the Leica M9 vs the Nikon D800 ISO.  I will put a post together when I get chance.

For now here is the first digital sample images from the trip:

Fallen Angel

Nikon D800 Fashion Photography

Fun Between Poses

Model – Weronika @ Malva Models

Nikon D800 + Tokina 100mm f2.8 AF Macro / Nikkor 50mm f1.8 E Series

Related Posts

Nikon F4

Nikon F4

May 2015

Nikon F4!

Today I purchased a used Nikon F4 SLR 35mm film camera which was first released back in 1988 when I was only 10yr!  I already own an older Nikon FM SLR film camera and have experience with digital Nikon cameras before moving to Leicas.  I have owned a Nikon D90, Nikon D700 and still own and sometimes use my Nikon D800.  My Leica M9 is my main workhorse camera now and has been for a while but the Nikon D800 is still a very capable camera.

I have a range of Nikon mount lenses, including Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s, 24f2.8D, 50f1.4D, 85f1.4D, 135f2.8, 35-70AF and the mighty Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-S. I also have Samyang lenses in Nikon mount including the amazing Samyang 85mm f1.4 and some M42 Zeiss lenses which I love to use via an adapter, Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.8 and Zeiss Pancolar 80mm f1.8.

As I now enjoy mostly film photography for personal work and thought it would be nice to get another Nikon SLR film body to make use of these lenses.  I looked at a range of options including Nikon F2, Nikon F5 and Nikon F100 but I settled on a Nikon F4.  I wanted to try a 35mm film camera with autofocus so that ruled out the older F2.  I like the idea of potentially buying a waist level finder so originally I had planned to get an F2 but then more recently I thought that if I start doing film only weddings a camera with autofocus might be nice for moving subjects.  I then looked at the F100 and F5 but they both looked quite big and heavy.  I preferred the Nikon F4 to the Nikon F4s or Nikon F4e as it is smaller without the extra battery grip.

I plan to use the Nikon F4 to compliment my Leica cameras.  If I do a quick comparison with my current favourite camera the Leica M3 you can see some of the ‘advantages’ of the more modern Nikon F4 film camera body.

Here are a few points that are important to me rather than a complete list:

Nikon F4 vs Leica M3

  • Flash sync speed:
  • Nikon F4 = 1/250, The F4 will be amazing for my strobist work!
  • Leica M3 = 1/50, not ideal for strobist work so I often use Bessa R3a (sync 1/125)
  • Maximum shutter speed:
  • Nikon F4 1/8000, removes need for ND filters
  • Leica M3  = 1/1000, M3 requires ND filters on fast lenses in bright sunlight
  • Autofocus option?:
  • Nikon F4 = Yes, AF useful for moving subjects/ action.
  • Leica M3  = No, can pre-focus focus or retain a set hyperfocal distance
  • Long lenses:
  • Nikon F4 = SLR works great with any lens, wide to telephoto like my 200mmf2
  • Leica M3  = 50mm rangefinder. External finder for 50mm harder to focus
  • Batteries:
  • Nikon F4 = Requires 4x AA batteries. Adds weight. Can add battery grip to take 8x AA
  • Leica M3  = No battery needed. I do prefer cameras without batteries.
  • Light Meter:
  • Nikon F4 = Yes, Matrix, Centre-Weighted or Spot meter options
  • Leica M3  = No light meter.  Use external hand held light meter
  • Film advance:
  • Nikon F4 = Auto film advance. No manual film advance lever. Can work more quickly
  • Leica M3  = Manual film advance lever (Single stroke or Double stroke models)
  • Film rewind:
  • Nikon F4 = Auto film rewind. Great in a time pressure environment like a wedding
  • Leica M3  = Manual film rewind.  Not ideal if needs to change film quickly

As you can see if you list the two cameras side by side the Nikon F4 should really compliment my two Leica M3s.  I look forward to reporting back soon once it arrives and I get chance to use it.


Useful Nikon F4 Links

  • An excellent YouTube Video of the Nikon F4 –
  • Ken Rockwell’s views on the Nikon F4 with more camera details –


Featured: MOTW – Galyna

Featured Model of the Week (“MOTW”) : Galyna

Matthew Osborne Photography – Model Photographer
This is a new feature to share some of my favourite model photography/ fashion and beauty images from a selection of the best models I have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years, both here in the UK and overseas.  Photos have been captured with various camera equipment and you can see the details by clicking on the images.
Model – Galyna
Location – Uzhgorod, Ukraine

I met Galyna when working out in Ukraine in 2011.  She was a friend of a girl I met in the office and the two of them came to my hotel for some photos.  Galyna doesn’t model in Ukraine and works at the University.  That said, she enjoys having her photo taken so every time I was in town we would hook up for photos.  Over the time of knowing her I shot with a Nikon D700, Nikon D800 and on my last trip a Leica M9.  I think my favourite images were those taken with the Nikon D800 and the amazing Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens.  Some of the photos were made with the Lensbaby Edge 80 tilt lens.  I’m sure you can spot them!

I hope to meet up with Galyna again soon and visit Ukraine next year.  I love Ukraine.  It reminds me of the UK in the 1980s bringing back memories from my childhood.  I love the old cars and the famous Lada!  My first car was a Lada Niva Cossack 4×4 which I had for 6 years.  Amazing car full of character!  I would have one again tomorrow if I could afford a ‘Sunday’ car!  I like the old buildings in Ukraine and the general less developed feel to parts of the country.  It make for an amazing backdrop for photos.  A high percentage of Ukrainian girls could probably model here in the UK as they have the tall slim genes like Galyna.  That and the fact that Ukrainian women dress to impress, whether for work or a night out.  The clothes some girls wore in the office looked similar to what we would see in a nightclub in the UK!  Quite a distraction!  I was amazed there were not more car crashes!!

Here are a few photos from my trips, 2011-2013.

2012 REPOST: Nikon D800 + Samyang 85mm f1.4 Fashion
Galyna with Edge 80
Galyna with Edge 80
Lensbaby Edge 80
Window Light
Galyna SOOC
Leica M9 & VC Nokton 40/1.4
Galyna, Ukraine
Galyna, Uzhgord. Ukraine
Galyna, Ukraine, 1/10 handheld
High Key Portrait
Leica M9 + VC Nokton 40mm f1.4 Portrait
Natural Beauty - Galyna
Galyna SOOC, ISO 2500

I hope you liked them!

Look out for my “MOTW” blog posts for more model photography photos going forward!

Featured: MOTW – Gina

Featured Model of the Week (“MOTW”) : Gina

MatthewOsbornePhotography – Model Photographer
This is a new feature to share some of my favourite model photography/ fashion and beauty images from a selection of the best models I have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years, both here in the UK and overseas.  Photos have been captured with various camera equipment and you can see the details by clicking on the images.
Model – Gina
Location – Coventry UK
Gina lives locally to me so we have shot together on many occasions and with lots of different cameras / lenses.  See if you can spot the Leica images (and if you are really smart what lens I used!), the Nikon images and those shot on film rather than digital!  Enjoy!
Recent photos taking during a 1-2-1 portrait photography workshop last weekend

Modern Classic
Classic Portraiture
Leica Summicron 75 - Studio Portrait
Polaroid by www.MrLeica.com

Older photos (mixed)

Love This :) Gina
Gina with Contax 645
Gina with Contax 645
Gina in the Snow
Leica M8 Studio Portrait
Zeiss Planar
Model Photography
Lencarta Elite Pro 300
D800 Fashion Photography
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii
M8 Fashion
Samyang 24mm f1.4
Lumix G3 Fashion
Leica M9 Portrait
Leica M9 & Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ii
Gina with Contax 645
Nikon D800 Fashion

And finally a few photos in colour..

Leica M9 Fashion
Leica Fashion Photography

Leica Fashion

Leica Noctilux Fashion

I hope you liked them?
Look out for my “MOTW” blog posts for more model photography photos going forward!

Wedding Photography: Leica Rangefinder vs DSLR Autofocus

Wedding Photography: Leica Rangefinder vs DSLR Autofocus

Wedding Photography: Leica Rangefinder vs DSLR Autofocus

DSLR vs Rangefinder Cameras – Focusing
Although I now shoot mostly with Leica cameras I taught myself most of my photography with Nikon DSLR cameras (D90 > D700 > D800). When I first moved over to Leica at the end of last summer the Leica rangefinder focus patch was alien to me and quite daunting. I suddenly missed the through the lens DSLR/SLR focusing that many of my digital cameras and film cameras have.

Leica Cameras for Wedding Photography (vs. a DSLR camera)

Before I bought a Leica I could not imagine using a Leica camera for fast paced wedding photography as I would expect I would miss too many shots. I often used manual focus lenses on my Nikon D800 for model photography such as the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s and 200 f2 AI-s. For wedding photos however I thought I would be safer with Nikon autofocus lenses so own lenses such as the Nikkor 24mm f2.8D, Nikkor 35mm f1.4 G, Nikkor 50 f1.4G and Nikkor 85mm f1.4D. These lenses were only dusted off to use for weddings as I preferred the manual lenses for my personal work. Once I realised the Leica cameras were easy to use I started using my Leica M9 for wedding photography. I haven’t looked back and now use the Leica cameras for 98% of all my photography. The high megapixel Nikon D800 camera (36MP) can still be useful in the studio for fashion photography on a white screen.

So what has changed?

I have started to do more and more freelance wedding photography working with other photographers who are using DSLR cameras. (The most popular camera I see being used for weddings is the Canon 5D Mark III. The high ISO is good but I don’t like Canon so would get a Nikon D4 if needed higher ISO). As the wedding clients will receive photos from both me and the other DSLR photographer(s) I am often asked to use my Nikon D800 for their wedding gigs rather than my Leica. This of course makes sense so I agreed for the recent weddings. On the actual wedding days I often think in the back of my mind “I could do this better with Leica glass” but I didn’t really ever consider missing shots. After reviewing photos taken with Nikkor autofocus lenses I noticed I had misfocused on perhaps 1 in 20 photos and lost some great images. To make it worse this was with me shooting with lenses stopped down to the likes of f4-f8 to keep clients happy. To misfocus at f8 is impressively bad and not forgivable.

Leica Noctilux Wedding
To put it in context further, the weekend before last I shot one of my own wedding bookings in Coventry and Warwickshire with my Leica M9 camera and the manual focus (all Leica M photos are manual focus) Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0. I shot the entire wedding at f1 (excluding the group photos) and I don’t think I misfocused a single image. I know that if I line up the Leica rangefinder patch I have got my shot. I had hoped the same using DSLR autofocus but I was let down by the camera/ lens combo.

So how can I produce CMOS sensor looking images at a higher ISO (potentially) for freelance weddings?
I would ‘need’ to buy a Leica M 240 with the CMOS sensor (rather than the M9 Kodak CCD sensor). The Leica M (as it is also known) would let me mount my high quality Leica M mount glass from the likes of Zeiss, Leica and Voigtlander yet give me modern looking CMOS images that will blend better to a second photographers photos who is using a DSLR and at ISO higher than 800. I feel some of my autofocus Nikon glass is often substandard vs. the leading Leica and Zeiss glass I use on the Leica. The older Nikkor glass is to me the best and my favourite of my Nikon gear (50f1.2 and 200f2 AI-s).

Do I ‘need’ a Leica M 240?
For personal work, no, not at all as I think the B&W images from the Leica M9 are as good as it gets, especially the M9 B&W JPEGs.
Would a Leica Type 240 benefit my wedding photography? Yes, without doubt as most clients are looking for colour wedding photos rather than black and white images.

Could I use my Nikon D800 and trusty manual focus lenses instead?
Yes this would overcome the autofocus issue, the CMOS look issue, the high ISO issue and save me lots of money. However, despite all that I still think I can nail focus easier with a rangefinder focus patch at any distance greater than say 1 meter. Up close focusing is easy with any camera, even at f1. The blog post header image is shot with a paper thin focus using a Leica M9 + Leica Summicron 90mm f2 lens at f2.

You may comment well almost all sane wedding photographers use a DLSR camera and they do not complain?
Well I guess I didn’t complain before I got a Leica camera either. Once you get a taste of something better it is hard to lower your standards, whether image quality or simply missing easy images.

A Leica M 240 might be my next purchase going forward..

Did I learn anything from revisiting my Nikon DSLR for wedding photography?
Yes. Despite sounding like I am 100% bias to everything Leica I remembered just how good the 200mm f2 Nikkor lens is. Leica is nice and all but sometimes you need a longer focal length. The 200/2 produces super sharp images at f2 from afar with a subject background bokeh that just melts away. The large size of the lens doesn’t really fit with the minimal look of my Leica setup however it should not be ruled out especially in larger wedding venues or churches where the 90mm f2 lens focal length is not long enough. Lens of the day without doubt for the Nikon freelance weddings was the Nikkor 200f2.


Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s Shoot

Engagement Shoot – Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
(Part 2 – With Nikon D800)

Coventry Wedding Photographer

Following my Leica M9 engagement shoot post yesterday, here are some of the photos taken from the same shoot but with a Nikon D800 + Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s. I was interested to see if the 200f2 could offer anything extra to what my Leica lenses give me to make it worth while carrying the extra bulk and weight.

I arrangeed this shoot with Harriett and Ashley as I wanted to showcase to couples who are looking to have an engagement shoot or book a wedding photographer what is possible for you. I aim to provide wedding couples with a mix of relaxed reportage style candid photos throughout the day plus some posed high fashion wedding portraits as seen here. This is my style of wedding photography.

Yesterday we took a trip to Kenilworth Castle. Harriett and Ashley modelled for me and Donna kindly came along as my lighting assistant. I used the same lighting and equipment that I use on a wedding day and going forward I plan to take an assistant with me for every shoot (feel free to get in touch if you would like to get involved) to help hold my light so I can achieve the look I desire.

Lighting was fully portable using speedlights.

Photos shot as Nikon D800 black and white JPEGs in camera and finished in Lightroom 3. I prefer the rendering of the Leica images but the 200m f2 can produce some stunning photos that are both sharp and have a very shallow depth of field.


Let me know which you prefer.. the Leica M9 images or the Nikon D800 ones. I like them both but I feel the Leica has the edge for my taste.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Wedding Photographer

Related Post

Engagement Shoot – Part 1 (Leica M9 Engagement Photography)